Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Wisdom Facor: A Missing Link in South Sudan Politics

By John A. Akec

Wisdom is not necessarily knowledge. And knowledge is certainly not wisdom. Nor is intelligence equitable to wisdom. Wisdom is the most supreme of all these three highly coveted human traits: wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence.

Not every wise man or wise woman is knowledgeable. But knowledge and intelligence allows the wise man or wise woman to do great things. Things wisdom, knowledge, or intelligence alone cannot achieve. To me intelligence and wisdom are very close cousins. However, they differ in some important ways: Intelligence sees the way with its eyes. Wisdom sees the way with its brain. Intelligence can go astray and boomerangs. Wisdom will never go astray nor boomerang. Intelligence is insecure. Wisdom is secure.

Knowledge is neutral. It is beneficial. It is a good servant to wisdom. You can never have too much knowledge. But when knowledge is too little, it does more harm than good. In fact, we have been told by a respectful host of philosophers and educationalists that little knowledge is dangerous. That is where half-truths fit: dangerous. Hence, is it better to be aware of our ignorance than believe we know much when, in actual fact, we don’t.

In contrast to knowledge, any amount of wisdom is beneficial. It is like a mustard seed. Very small in size (1/20 of an inch) but out of it grows one of the largest trees in the forest. Better to have little wisdom than none at all.

By the way we conduct our affairs in South Sudan, we clearly display how much we need to seek and find wisdom: be we the ruled or the rulers. Without the exercise of wisdom by all concerned (stakeholders), it is impossible for me to imagine how we are going to survive as autonomous region in united Sudan or an independent sovereign state should we secede in 2011.

This wisdom means no matter how evil or wicket we are, we should avoid creating another Somalia in heart of Sudan in one way or another. We should also not think we have "the final solution" for our ethnic and tribal differences. No matter how disguised these "final solutions" may be in form of engineered or sponsored ethnic conflicts or engineered famines. These have failed to render "the final solutions" all the evil dictators have craved for throughout our human history.

Finally, let us avoid anything that will open an account with the ICC which in due course will send a Louis Ockampo in our trail. Wisdom can deliver us from such temptations and tendencies.

Intelligence: Are you listening? Don’t harm others and eventually hurt yourself. Ask wisdom for guidance.